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State of the Climate 2011 (NOAA)
 

State of the Climate 2011 (NOAA)

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Back to back La Nina episodes in the tropical Pacific Ocean shaped dramatic climate events in 2011, according to the latest State of the Climate report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric ...

Back to back La Nina episodes in the tropical Pacific Ocean shaped dramatic climate events in 2011, according to the latest State of the Climate report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. More on NOAA science at Dot Earth: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/noaa

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    State of the Climate 2011 (NOAA) State of the Climate 2011 (NOAA) Presentation Transcript

    • Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D., Director, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center,and Chair of the Subcommittee on Global Change ResearchJessica Blunden, PhD, Scientist, ERT Inc., Climate Monitoring Branch,NOAA’s National Climatic Data CenterKate Willett, PhD, Senior Scientist, Met Office Hadley CentreMartin Jeffries, PhD, Research Professor of Geophysics, GeophysicalInstitute, University of Alaska FairbanksTom Peterson, PhD, Principal Scientist, NOAA’s National Climatic DataCenter, and President of the World Meteorological Organization Commissionfor ClimatologyPeter Stott, PhD, Senior Scientist, Met Office Hadley Centre
    • • 22nd annual State of the Climate report • Surveys the changing state and  the behavior of the physical  climate system• Now tracks 43 global‐scale  climate indicators 378 authors from 48 countries 17 editors on 3 continentsJuly 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 2
    • • Report added new indicators to better understand changes in  the global climate• Same bottom line conclusion – climate continues to changeJuly 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 3
    • ©Jonathan Wood/Getty Images — Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, January 2011La Niña contributed to weather and climate patterns around the world in 2011 Major flooding occurred in Queensland, Australia ©Jakob Dall Photography — Wajir, Kenya, July 2011 Oceanic Niño IndexDrought in East Africa affected millions of peopleJuly 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 4
    • • Many extreme events occurred at  Thailand flooding regional and local levels• La Niña contributed to some but not all  ©iStockPhoto.com/phototrav of these events – Southern United States and northern Mexico:  Historic drought – Above‐average North Atlantic hurricane season – Below‐average Eastern North Pacific season – Brazil: Devastating floods – Thailand: Worst floods since 1942 – United States: Record destruction by tornadoes Joplin Missouri USA Tornado – North Korea: Longest cold snap since 1945 – Central and southern Europe: Worst heat wave  since 2003 – Australia: Struck by most powerful tropical  cyclone, Yasi, since 1918 NOAA NOAAJuly 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 5
    • Global average surface temperature was higher than the  1981 to 2010 average Carbon dioxide Upper Ocean Heat Content Global Temperature Carbon dioxide Globally averaged carbon dioxide   Globally averaged heat stored in  Four data sets show global surface concentrations in the atmosphere  the top 2,300 feet of the oceans  temperatures continue to rise; surpassed 390 parts per million for the  was the highest since records  temperature has increased at a rate first time. began in 1993.  of about 0.31ºF per decade since  1980.July 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 6
    • 2011: La Niña in the eastern equatorial Pacific kept global surface temperaturescooler during the year compared with the record warmth of 2010, but still remainedabove the average of the past 30 yearsLong-term trend: Temperatures at the Earth’s surface and lower atmospherecontinue to warm, while the stratosphere continues to coolJuly 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 7
    • 2011 was wetter than average over land  but relatively dry over the oceans The Water CycleDepartures from 1992-2010 average over oceans and 1961-1990 average over land (millimeters)In 2011, oceans were saltier in already drier areas and fresher in already rainy areas, indicating an increase in the global water cycle July 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center 8
    • • “Arctic Amplification”: Average temperature has  Average temperature over the past decade increased by about 3.6ºF since the mid‐1960s,  is warmer than the 1971–2000 average. more than 2 times faster than at lower latitudes• Barrow, Alaska had record 86 consecutive summer  days with minimum temperatures at or above  freezing• Record high temperatures were recorded at 20 m  below the surface at all permafrost observatories on  Alaska’s North Slope Degrees Celsius • In March 2011, the lowest ozone concentrations on record led to elevated UV radiation levels at the surface Ozone Concentration (Dobson Units)July 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center 9
    • • September sea ice extent was  2nd smallest since the satellite  era began Sept. 2011• Old ice (4–5 years) reached  record low: 81% below average March: when maximum ice extent occurs September: when minimum ice extent occurs • Greenland ice sheet: Above‐average air  temperatures and declining albedo  (reflectivity) caused extreme melting  and mass loss in 2011July 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 10
    • • Sea surface temperature in the Beaufort,  Chukchi, East Siberian, Laptev, and Kara  Seas were 2nd warmest on record, behind  only 2007 • Since 1982, tundra greenness has increased  by 15.5% in the North American Arctic and  by 8.2% in the Eurasian ArcticJuly 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 11
    • • Long‐term trends show that climate  indicators expected to increase in a warming  world are continuing to increase and those  that are expected to decrease are continuing  to decrease.• The annual global temperature was cooler  than in 2010, but was still one of the 15  warmest years on record. The Arctic  continues to warm faster than the rest of the  globe.• There were many extreme weather and  climate events around the globe in 2011. La  Niña contributed to many, but not all, of  these events.July 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 12
    • • Determining the causes of  extreme events is difficult • A goal of this paper is to foster  the growth of the science • Cannot say a particular event was  or was not caused by climate  change • Can explain how the odds of such  events have changed in response  to global warmingJuly 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center 13
    • • By wide margins the hottest and driest growing season on record • Was associated with La Niña conditions • Such a heatwave is now about 20 times more likely during La Niña  years than in the 1960sJuly 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 copyright Met Office © Crown 14
    • • The odds of the cold December 2010 temperatures have halved  as a result of human‐induced climate change • The warm November 2011 temperatures are now about 60 times  more likely than in the 1960s © Crown copyright Met OfficeJuly 2012 15
    • • Climate change has altered the odds of some of the events that have occurred• Some have become more likely• Some have become less likely• Natural variability also plays an important role• We hope that this report will help foster the  growth of attribution science needed to make  assessments such as this more comprehensive ©Jonathan Wood/Getty Images — Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, January 2011 ©iStockphoto.com/Kirk Lockhart Flooding in Australia Texas creek bed in droughtJuly 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 16
    • • “State of the Climate in 2011” report:  – http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams‐state‐of‐the‐climate/2011.php • Online Report Highlights: – http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/article/2012/state‐of‐the‐climate‐in‐2011‐ highlights • BAMS article on Explaining Extreme Events of 2011  from a Climate Perspective: – http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams‐sotc/2011‐peterson‐et‐ al.pdf • Slides from today’s webinar: – http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams‐sotc/2011/webinar‐ briefing‐slides.pdfJuly 2012 State of the Climate in 2011 17